Speaking to BBC News, Major General James Everard, Assistant Chief of the General Staff, said:
We owe a huge apology to the families involved and those who will now be feeling stressful even if it doesn't affect them.
These were just tissue samples that we had failed to recover post-inquest and deal with in line with the families' wishes.
It's a failure of process, nothing more than that, but we absolutely recognise this will cause distress and we're deeply sorry."
More top news
Ciaran Maxwell from Exminster has admitted preparing for an act of terrorism.
A school in Truro, which teaches a high number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds has won an award for how it invests.
Heavy rain in places, will spread across all parts throughout the morning along with brisk winds.